World in Action

World in Action was a British investigative current affairs programme made by Granada Television from 1963 until 1998. Its campaigning journalism frequently had a major impact on events of the day. Its production teams often took audacious risks and gained a solid reputation for its often unorthodox, some said left-wing, approach. Cabinet ministers fell victim to its probings. Numerous innocent victims of the British criminal justice system, including the Birmingham Six, were released from jail. Honouring the programme in its fiftieth anniversary awards, the Political Studies Association, said: "World in Action thrived on unveiling corruption and highlighting underhand dealings. World in Action came to be seen as hard-hitting investigative journalism at its best." A melodramatic post-trial encounter in 1967 between Mick Jagger and senior British establishment figures, in which rock star and retinue were wafted by helicopter onto the lawn of a stately home, was engineered by then World in Action researcher and future BBC Director General, John Birt. He decades later described it as "one of the iconic moments of the Sixties." World in Action was sold around the world. It won numerous awards. The long-running intermittent Seven Up! series of TV films, which in due course spanned decades, was first broadcast from 1964 as part of World in Action. In its heyday World in Action drew audiences of up to 23 million in Britain alone, equivalent to almost half the population.